Finally–The complete featureset from Foldershare has been replaced – With Skydrive you can now browse your other computers

I used to use Foldershare back when it was first purchased by Microsoft, and thought it was brilliant. My needs were fairly simple… essentially I had 3:

  • To access the desktop of my PC at home (aka LogMeIn / GoToMyPc / VNC, etc)
  • To Access the files on any of my computers from any of my other computers (in case I needed a file from home and I was at work, for example)
  • To Synchronise specific files between my computers (I used this to keep my OneNote notebooks, my Live Messenger history and my browser Quick links in sync).

I had the answer for the Remote desktop (big fan of LogMeIn), and FolderShare did the other stuff (really nicely, I might add – it just worked). Essentially it let you do 2 things, really well:

  • Synchronise a folder or folders between one or more computers (Live Mesh has had this for ages)
  • Allow access to your drives between computers

Unfortunately Foldershare and its replacement LiveSync service was shut down on the 31st of March 2011. Since then, I’ve been using Live Mesh and I’ve made some changes to the way I work… but it’s been bugging me that I’m unable to get files from home without remote desktopping into my home PC, copy the offending missed file into my Live Mesh folder, wait for it to sync (which was always slow) and only then could I use it at work.

Live Mesh let me:

  • Sync any folder to any other folder on any computer connected to my “Mesh”.
  • Remote desktop through firewalls to any PC with Remote Desktop enabled (between this and LogMeIn, I’m normally able to get to my work PC’s on Client sites).
  • Sync one or more folders to the cloud (up to 5gb) in addition to the computers in your Mesh

But no access to folders or files which you are not syncing, and you can only leverage 5gb of online storage.

The Skydrive desktop app (the new release from MS) lets me:

  • Sync one folder to the cloud, and all other folders underneath it (If it supports Mount points, the 1 folder might not be a problem).
  • Share that same folder with any other PC with the Skydrive app installed
  • Browse the hard drives of the computers running the Skydrive app and drag a file across to my current computer
  • lets you use all 25gb of online storage

I’m finally starting to come close to nirvana. The Skydrive app does almost everything, except for the Remote Desktop stuff… but I have less of a need for that now I can access my files from home (and LogMeIn fills that gap nicely for free).

By the way – if you want to set your computer as a trusted PC, you need to do the following:

Go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Live\Installer\wlstartup.exe and tick the checkbox that says “Make this my Trusted PC”…
OR
Go to https://account.live.com/Proofs/Manage and under trusted PC, remove all of the existing PC’s to display the link “Add to my trusted PC’s” (poor UI – as soon as you add one, the link disappears). Then (provided you are an Admin on your local PC), you can set it up through IE.

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About Brad Saide

I'm a SharePoint consultant. I'm also slowly going bald, seem to have a permanent spare tyre around my waist and enjoy socialising with friends over a beer or 10. The last 2 may possibly be related. Started working with SharePoint when the first version was in limited beta release (participated in the Technology Adoption Program while at Woolworths) and have been committed to the adoption of the technology as a business enabler ever since.
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